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Puerto Rican Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering a Federal Witness

U.S. Department of Justice August 06, 2013
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

WASHINGTON—Xavier Jiménez-Benceví, aka “Xavi,” 28, was sentenced to life in prison following his conviction for murdering a federal witness in a drug trafficking case.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Jose A. Fuste.

On April 30, 2013, Jiménez-Benceví was convicted of the murder of a federal witness, possession of a firearm, attempted kidnapping, and possession of a machine gun. According to evidence presented in court, on June 21, 2010, Jimenez-Benceví enlisted the help of others to lure Delia Sánchez-Sánchez—a woman he believed was about to report his drug trafficking activities to federal agents—to the parking lot of a supermarket, where Jimenez-Benceví executed her with a fully automatic 9mm handgun.

Evidence provided in court also showed that Jimenez-Benceví was previously convicted in Puerto Rico of murdering Eduardo Cabrerra-Arriba on August 28, 2007, and shooting at three police officers in the Falin Torrech public housing project on September 16, 2010. In addition, the court heard evidence that Jimenez-Benceví wounded 11 people in a shooting at the Victory Shopping Center on May 25, 2011.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys José Capó-Iriarte, Ilianys Rivera-Miranda, and Luke V. Cass and trial attorneys James D. Peterson and Rich Burns of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit.

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